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Dante's "Purgatorio"....2 Translations
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Author:  p.falk [ Wed Jan 17, 2018 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Dante's "Purgatorio"....2 Translations

I'm reading Dante's "Purgatory". I got 2 translations for Christmas: Jean & Robert Hollander's and Anthony Esolen's.

I asked for Esolen, but I got Hollander. I wanted Esolen because I had read his translation of "Inferno" and found it much more easy to understand than Ciardi's and Mandelbaum's (Mandelbaum's was more clear than Ciardi's).

I wanted Esolen's but I got Hollander's Purgatory. Then I bought Esolen's the next day.

Interestingly enough Esolen's Purgatory is actually a bit more difficult to read through than Hollanders. I'll actually read a section in Hollander's to help me understand what Esolen is saying at times.

Esolen's notes are good again (just like in Inferno), but Hollander's notes are incredibly detailed... more so than Esolen's.


Purgatory is a bit more heady at times than Inferno. There are a few side discussions of topics that require a lot more focus than I remember in Inferno.
Some topics of those discussions are the nature of Love and the culpability of a sinner who loves in a perverted manner, or a deficient manner (as in sloth), or in an excessive manner (lust, gluttony, and avarice). Also a conversation on how the gluttons can be starved to the point of emaciation when they should not technically require food for sustenance in Purgatory. There's a lot of medieval biology involved.

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